I Tried Out A Weight Loss Product…

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I Tried Out A Weight Loss Product I Echanning

 

So…. as you’ve probably read by now, I’m going on vacation in a week, and I did what any sensible person would do to get ready for bikini season. I waited till the last possible moment to get ready for it.

If you’ve been following my blog since about February of this year, you’ve probably read about me saying that I wanted to start the year off eating healthy after a realization that, hey, what you eat does have an effect on your body (besides appearance). For the most part, since I’ve made that realization, everything has been going well except every other weekend I was giving myself cheat days.

Now, this would be fine for anyone else, but for someone like me who easily gets off track after a cheat day, it’s best that I just don’t have cheat days. Fast forward to now and I’m crunched for time trying to get bikini ready before my vacation.

Eating healthy gives me more energy, improves my skin (at least I feel like it does) and helps my mood. One thing it doesn’t do unfortunately is help me lose weight. It doesn’t make me gain weight, but it doesn’t help me lose it either which is why I have to diet along with eating healthy. Wait, but aren’t they the same thing? No, not necessarily.

Many health experts say that while a healthy lifestyle is better for you, it doesn’t always help you lose weight because many healthy foods such as nuts and avocados, for example, are high in fats. Hence why I haven’t been having a lot of success in the weight loss department.

The tricky thing for me though, is that my family has a history of under active thyroids aka hypothyroidism. I haven’t been officially diagnosed as having it, but I do have my suspicions. My body type isn’t overweight, but it’s not stick thin either. I like most people, have a little bit of weight that I want to lose but can’t seem to, no matter how hard I try. Anyway, before I decide to go the medication route, I thought I would give the old weight loss product route a try.

This product is called Slim Quick and it’s a weight loss shake that is meant to be drunk with a meal twice a day. As you probably have already guessed, it comes in a powder form and you can mix it with water or milk which then should go along with a morning or afternoon meal.

Slim Quick

The shake comes in two “flavors”, chocolate and vanilla. For this to truly be effective, you have to take it in conjunction with a diet and exercise plan. Taking this product with a regular meal and not a diet will not cancel out the calories that you would gain from eating a regular meal.

I have to say that after trying it, I’ve definitely lost a lot more than I did with just exercising and dieting alone. So in that respect it does work very well. There are two downsides to it though, which aren’t THAT bad, but still they are things I think Slim Quick could do to improve their product. One is the flavor. I received the vanilla version and while it didn’t taste terrible, it didn’t taste as “vanilla-y” as I would’ve liked. It was also a tiny bit chalky in consistency, but again it wasn’t too bad so it was still worth it.

The second thing is that I ran out of the product in about a week & a half. I did exactly as the directions suggested and used one scoop of the powder with half a cup of water and I ran out of the product before two weeks which is how long I was going to give myself to start seeing results. Well, since it ran out before then, I wasn’t able to do that and I also wasn’t able to take a before and after picture because there wasn’t enough difference to show in such a short amount of time.

A part from those two things, I would say that this is still a good product. It definitely met my expectation in the weight loss department which is really what the whole point of taking it was, right?

Diet Food Collage

What I ate on the first day…….

Breakfast: Yogurt with agave nectar, vanilla almond granola and apple slices (with Slim Quick as drink).

Lunch: Vegetable stir fry ( white rice, red & yellow peppers, water chestnuts, corn, sugar snap peas and mushrooms …..w/ Slim Quick as drink).

Dinner: Tuna fish and wheat crackers with a side of broccoli. ( No Slim Quick for this meal)

As you can see above, you are only supposed to drink Slim Quick with two meals a day. Also for exercise, I did a 30 minute walk around my neighborhood. Like I said before, when it comes to helping you lost weight, this product definitely delivers. I also like the fact that you don’t have to substitute a meal with this drink because I know I would fail at that. Will I buy this product? Probably.

Final Verdict : B+

Question of the day: What steps do you take to get bikini ready?

***This is a sponsored post. I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ***

New Additions To Netflix & What's Coming Next

New Additions To Netflix + What's Coming Next

 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’ve had a really stressful week there’s nothing I want more than to just veg out on the couch and binge watch Netflix. Besides blogging, it really just helps me relax and unwind from the crazy week that I had. Fun fact: I don’t have cable, I actually haven’t had cable in years, because I just don’t see the need to. For one, Netflix is so much more affordable and anything you can get on cable, you can pretty much get on Netflix with the exception of sports.

I like to keep a close eye on recent additions to Netflix, and I’m so excited to share with you some of my favorites that have recently been added plus, what you can expect to see next month.

My Favorite New Additions

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

 

I definitely recommend seeing this if you haven’t! Nightcrawler gives you an inside look at the lengths one guy with a video camera will go to get the “scoop” on territories that are legally and ethically questionable. Jake Gyllenhaal gives such a great performance that I really wonder how he didn’t win some sort of award.

Inglorious Basterds

Inglorious Basterds

 

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to war movies, I tend to not be that interested in seeing them. However, I still like to give a movie the benefit of the doubt before writing it off as bad, so I gave this movie a chance and I’m really glad I did. This isn’t your typical nazi war movie, it goes beyond that and I really can’t explain into words how good it is, so go check it out for yourself.

Cake

Cake screenshot

Now I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this one yet but I will be watching it very soon because I heard it was very good. Something really fascinates me about someone going through addiction and pain and how they overcome that. It’s the fighting human spirit that makes us as humans so special.

Orange Is The New Black Season 3

Orange Is The New Black

I was so excited when they released season three this month, because this is my absolute favorite Netflix t.v. show. It’s a little bit raunchy and in your face, but it has such good characters and the stories are so well realized, that you would be crazy to not be mesmerized by this show. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you definitely should!!

What’s Coming To Netflix In July

Below are the t.v. shows and movies that Netflix will be adding to their July line up.

July 1st

July 3rd

July 4th

July 7th

July 9th

July 10th

July 14th

July 15th

July 16th

July 17th

July 18th

July 23rd

July 25th

July 28th

July 30th

July 31st

Exiting Netflix In July

Below is a list of movies and t.v. shows that will be leaving in July, so make sure to watch them before they leave.

July 1st

  • 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School
  • Accidentally On Purpose
  • Amazing Stories
  • American Experience: JFK
  • Arthur
  • Beauty And The Beast
  • Big Fish
  • Big Top Pee Wee
  • Black In Latin America
  • Buffalo Girls
  • Bratz: Fashion Pixiez
  • Bratz Kidz: Sleep Over Adventure
  • Bowling For Columbine
  • The Care Bears Movie
  • Cast Away
  • Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie
  • Descent
  • Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
  • Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Stephen King’s Golden Years
  • Hack
  • Harper’s Island
  • Hawaii Five O ( 1968)
  • How Democracy Works Now
  • How Sherlock Changed The World
  • Jack Frost
  • Knight Rider
  • The Langoliers
  • Latino Americans
  • The Last Samurai
  • LazyTown
  • Louis C.K. : Hilarious
  • Makers: Women Who Make America
  • Making Stuff 2: Nova
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Martha Speaks
  • Melrose Place 2.0
  • Melrose Place
  • Mission: Impossible (Seasons 1-7)
  • Moonstruck
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • Natural Born Killers
  • The New Woody Woodpecker Show
  • Out Of Practice
  • Patton
  • Peep And The Big Wide World
  • Peg + Cat
  • Philly
  • Racing Stripes
  • The Reagan Presidency
  • Scholastic: Amazing America
  • Scholastic: Amusing Animals
  • Scholastic: Good To Know!
  • Scholastic: One Of A Kind Critters
  • Scholastic: Tall Tales
  • Seven Years In Tibet
  • Sitting Ducks
  • She’s All That
  • Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow
  • Space Cowboys
  • The Stand
  • Stephen King’s The Stand
  • Super Troopers
  • Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones
  • Three Kings
  • Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
  • The Winds Of War
  • Wings
  • WorldGirl
  • X-Men: Evolution ( Season 1)

July 3rd

  • Myth Hunters ( Series One)

July 4th

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

July 6th

  • The Last Stand

July 7th

  • Sekirei

July 14th

  • Shipping Wars ( Seasons 1-3)
  • Wahlburgers ( Season 1)

July 15th

  • Dragnet ( Seasons 1-4)
  • Miami Vice ( Seasons 1-5)

July 25th

  • The Inbetweeners ( Seasons 1-3)

July 30th

  • Leave It To Beaver ( Seasons 1-6)
  • Magnum P.I. ( Seasons 1-8)

 

Question of the day: What is your favorite thing to watch on Netflix right now?

 

Blogging Resources: Setting Up A Newsletter

Blogging Resources: Setting Up A Newsletter

 

I’ve said before how important it is to build an email list. Apart from actually typing in your blog’s name (which is less effective in getting return visitors), setting up a newsletter is the main vehicle for getting people to return to your site after they’ve been there for the 1st time. Return visitors or readers need an easy way to be able to come back to your blog without actually having to type in your blog’s name, because let’s face it, unless you’re really good at coming up with a catchy blog name that people will remember, 1st time visitors won’t remember how to get back to your blog.

That’s not to say that they didn’t like what you had to say, it’s just that with so much information being thrown at us each day, it’s hard to remember little things like a blog you happened to run across a week ago, which is why newsletters are essential. Once a reader enters their email into that subscription box, all they have to do is wait for your newest entry to be sent to the inbox. Simple, right?

I can’t tell you how many great blogs I’ve run across that didn’t have an opt in form of some kind. No, literally I can’t tell you, because I can’t remember their names. See, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s sad too, because I would’ve been a loyal reader of some of them, but because they didn’t take time out to quickly and easily set up a simple newsletter, they were forgotten. That’s why I thought this would be an important post to do for this series.

I use the Mail Poet plugin for my newsletter and I’m going to show step by step how to use it. Once you follow each step, you’ll be able to easily set up your own newsletter and eventually start racking up some subscribers. I won’t go into the basics of setting it up though, because that part is self explanatory.

Newsletter Main Page 3

Once you’ve installed Mail Poet and set up the basic information for sending out your newsletter, you’ll want to start by going to the newsletter section of Mail Poet which is where you’ll create your newsletter. As you can see above, I already have a newsletter made, so for the purposes of this demonstration, I went ahead and created another one. If you look at the top by the word All Newsletters, you’ll see a tab that says create a new email. Click on that to begin setting up your newsletter.

Newsletter First Step

 

From here, you will decide if you want a standard newsletter or an automatic newsletter. Mine is set up as automatic. The subject line is going to be what pops up into your subscribers emails, so you’ll want to make sure it’s eye grabbing. Obviously you also want it sent to your email list, which is why I have that box checked. After you through with this, click to the next step.

Newsletter Second step    The second step is actually creating your newsletter. From here, you can customize the layout, font and subject matter of your newsletter.

Newsletter Inserting Header Image

 

At the top of this newsletter, where it says drop your logo into this header, you’ll see that I added my blog background image as the header by clicking on the images tab on the right hand side of this setup and once the image was uploaded, I just dragged the image onto the space where I wanted it to go. You don’t have to add an image here, you could add a title or phrase, whatever you like best, this is just how I have my newsletter set up.

Newsletter Inserting Post

 

After creating my header image, the next step was to add what posts I wanted to be featured in my newsletter. I did this by clicking the content tab right beside the images tab and where it says WordPress post, I dragged the icon over to the part of the newsletter I wanted it to show up in.

Newsletter Inserting Image

 

Once you’ve dragged that block over to the newsletter, a screen pops up asking you to select what type of post you want to show up here. As you can see from this screenshot, all of my posts are there for me to choose and you can select as many as you want. You can repeat this step by adding more posts in separate sections, or you can add them all at once in this step.

Newsletter Chaning Font Color

As you saw in the step above, after I added the post block to my newsletter, it automatically set the link color to a default setting, but you can change that by clicking on the styles tab to the right of the setup. You can change the colors and font to pretty much anything in this newsletter.

Newsletter Second Step 2 copy

In my footer, I don’t have anything because I don’t like to clutter my newsletter too much, but you are given the option to create one if you choose to. As you can also see, at the bottom, that is where you have a unsubscribe button for your subscribers. That’s the one thing you can’t modify. It’s a good thing too, because if you don’t have an unsubscribe button for your readers to opt out of emails, then your just entering into spamming territory, and that’s something nobody wants. From here is also where your subscribers will be able to edit their subscription. Once you’ve completed this last section you have the option to send a preview to your email so that you can see what your newsletter will look like before you finish it. I always do this step because your newsletter looks slightly different in your email and you might want to change a few things.

Newsletter Final Step

 

In this final step before saving your newsletter, you’re able to edit the subject line again if you’re not happy with what you had before and you have the option to schedule your newsletter to be sent out automatically or as soon as you complete this step it will be sent right away. That was pretty simple right? I know there are other newsletter plugins that a lot of people like and use, but this is the one I use.

I hope you found this semi-tutorial helpful, and if you have any questions about setting it up, please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Question of the day: Do you have a newsletter set up?

 

 

 

 

The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today's Aspiring Young Professional

The Career Playbook: Essential Advice For Today's Aspiring Young Professional

 

I decided to take a break from my usual cookbook review and share with you a book that is relevant to not only bloggers who want to take their blog to the next level, but also to any young adult who is lost or needs direction in regards to their career path. For many of us, once we graduate high school and/or college,we face the difficult decision of where do we go next. What type of jobs should you apply for and how will you ace that interview?

Essentially this book answers all those questions. The book is called The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional and it’s by a man named James M. Citrin. James is the leader of Spencer Stuart’s CEO Practice and a member of the firm’s worldwide board of directors. His diverse clients include leading media, technology, financial services, and consumer companies, as well as other multinational corporations and private equity firms.

Career Playbook

In the first chapter, James discusses the six phases of your career. Did you know there were six phases? Neither did I. Each different phase demonstrates where you will be at in each stage of your career. From your early twenties, all the way up to your sixties, James talks about each phase differs and what significance it has in your career.

James also discusses the major dilemma we are all faced with throughout our careers…balancing a successful career while also maintaining a healthy home life. Both are very integral to making everything run smoothly. If one is out of balance, the other suffers.

One important if not THE most important thing that James talks about is the power of relationships and networking. The right connections and relationships can open doors for you to careers you might not have been able to get unless you had that connection.

In Chapter 6 James discusses a topic you might be familiar with in your job hunt….Overcoming the Permission Paradox. What is that you ask? I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard if before either until reading this book, but it’s that frustrating road block we all face when applying for jobs, not having enough experience for the position and needing the position for experience. This happens to be my favorite chapter, because I myself have faced this difficult obstacle when on my job search.

Don’t worry either because James also discusses how to ace your interview and he also covers what you should do when deciding what job to accept, because believe it or not, it’s a very important step in pointing yourself in the right direction for your career path.

In each chapter of this book, James goes into detail, step by step, of each process you will need to go through in order to successfully carve out a great career path. I enjoyed reading this and think that anyone who is struggling with their business or career can benefit from reading this book. I urge you to read this if you are searching for help in your career.

Facts & Figures:

  • Of the more than 3 million college graduates who entered the U.S. workforce in 2013, nearly half accepted jobs for which they believed they were overqualified.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking.
  • More than 3 quarters of top leaders who were surveyed, advised that the right company or organization is most important for young professionals starting out in their careers.
  • Business leaders said almost unanimously that company culture and fit should be your top priority in choosing a job.
  • In a Gallup survey, one of their most important and actionable findings, is that employees’ job satisfaction is the single biggest determinant of how effective they will be in their role.

Question of the day: What was the best career advice you were ever given?

*** This is a sponsored post. I received this material in exchange for an honest book review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ***

Quick & Easy Fudgy Brownies

Quick & Easy Fudgy Brownie Recipe I Echanning

 

I said in Tuesday’s post that sometimes I like to switch things up and do the occasional recipe. Well today is one of those days. Brownies have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve made these super simple brownies once before and they were so delicious, I knew I had to share them with you!

A lot of people like brownies, but everyone differs on what type of brownie they like. I like a fudgier brownie while other people might like a cakier one. This recipe is for the fudgier one. This recipe is so simple and easy to make that pretty much anyone can make them, so if you’re not that great in the kitchen, don’t worry because hardly any skill is required for these. I’m going to take you through the quick step by step of how I made them.

Brownies - Ingredients

 

For these brownies you’re going to need all purpose flour, sugar, large eggs, salt, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and Nestle Toll House semi- sweet chocolate chips (you don’t have to add these, I just like the extra bit of chocolate on top).

Brownies - Pouring Sugar

Start by combining all the ingredients together in one bowl except the chocolate chips because you’re going to add them just before they go into the oven. What I really love about this recipe is, there aren’t a lot of steps and everything goes into the same bowl at one time.

Brownies - Cracking Eggs 2

 

For the eggs, I used large brown cage free eggs but you can use regular large eggs if you prefer. Just make sure you use the right size egg because it will make a difference.

Brownies - Stirring

After you combine all the ingredients into one large bowl, the next step is to stir. I recommend stirring with a wooden spoon just because it prevents over mixing. Mix until well combined.

Brownies - Prepared 2

 

After you mixed everything together, you’re going to pour your brownie batter into a greased ( I used non stick cooking spray) 9×13 inch pan. Distribute the batter evenly in the pan and then add the chocolate chips on top. This will make the top extra gooey and chocolatey. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a fork inserted comes out slightly clean ( you want a few crumbs to be still on the fork but not too much and not too gooey).

Brownies - Finished Product 2

And here is the finished product! When you take the brownies out of the oven, give them some time to cool before you cut them. As the brownies cool off, they become more firm.

These brownies were so delicious and if it wasn’t for my slow metabolism, I would eat them all the time haha! If you try these yourself please share it with me. If you have any questions regarding making this, leave me a comment below and I will do my best to answer.

Quick & Easy Fudgy Brownies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Semi – sweet chocolate chips ( or you could substitute w/ walnuts or not add anything at all)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together except the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (check after 20) or until a fork inserted comes out mostly clean.

Question of the day: Do you like a cakier or fudgier brownie?

Blogging Resources: Finding Your Niche & Naming Your Blog

Blogging Resources: Finding Your Niche & Naming Your Blog

 

I feel like I should have done this post from the very beginning, but better late than never right? Before you even begin to buy a domain, design your site, or come up with a name, the first thing every blogger has to decide, is what their blog is going to be about. Is it a food blog? A beauty blog? These are important questions to ask yourself when finding your niche.

My blog is mainly about self-improvement & advice, but occasionally I like to change it up and do a recipe here or there. The point is, I do have a main focus for my blog. A lot of people may know that they want to blog, but the problem is, they don’t know what to blog about. Finding a niche for your blog is important because when people come to your blog they want to know what they’re getting.

Mariah Coz from Femtrepreneur gave some great advice about finding your niche. Pick something you enjoy talking about or doing and do that. The key is to pick a topic and make it your own. Make it stand out from other blogs with a similar niche. Here’s how it works:

Examples:

Say you like coffee and beauty.

Coffee + Beauty = The Caffeinated Beauty

Say you like food and music.

Food + Music = The Melodic Foodie

As you can see, the key here is to take a topic that you want to blog about and make it unique by adding another topic you love, something that’s more specific and narrowed down. Choosing a niche can sometimes be difficult because you might have a lot of things you are passionate about, but what is going to help you in choosing, is deciding on what you like the most. Ask yourself, ” What do I think or talk about the most?”

I’ve also heard that a lot of bloggers will have 4 or 5 different blogs with different niches that way they don’t have to choose. You could do this yourself, but not only is that sort of expensive, it’s also not something I would suggest because that’s a lot of work to keep up with. It’s hard enough to keep up with one blog, but trying to keep up with others would make it twice as difficult.

That’s it for this edition of Blogging Resources. Make sure to come back next Tuesday for a new edition or Thursday for a new blog post.

Question of the day: What are two topics you’re really passionate about?

 

Father's Day 2015 Gift Ideas (Pinterest Worthy)

Father's Day 2015 Gift Ideas

 

Since I did a Mother Day Gift Idea post, I thought why not…can’t leave out dad right? I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, this year has flown by, I mean it’s already summer, what?!? Being that it’s now June, the time has come to start thinking about what you want to get (or make) your dad for Father’s Day.

Pretty much any and all holidays, you’ll probably find me searching through Pinterest to find gift ideas. It’s not that I don’t know what to buy (ok, sometimes I don’t), it’s just I’m really lazy when shopping for gifts and I don’t really feel like shopping around, so Pinterest is a good option for me.

My father was always the tougher of the two parents and he also was the reason I grew up to be such a tom boy. He taught me how to play most of the sports I played while growing up. I also look the most like him. We’ve had our ups and downs just like any parent and kid have, but I love him very much and couldn’t imagine life without him. So as you can see, he’s very special to me.

If you want to get something special for your dad, then you’ve come to the right place. All these ideas come straight from Pinterest. Hope you like them!

DIY Concrete Fire Pit

DIY Concrete Fire Pit

 

Source: Man Made DIY }

I don’t know about you, but my dad loves grilling. I’m sure if meat and charcoal was free he would do it everyday, which is why I think this would make a great Father’s Day gift for my dad or any dad.

DIY Couch Cup & Remote Holder Caddy

DIY Couch Cup Holder

Source: Dad And  } 

This has dad written all over it. Dad’s spend a lot of time on couches and they don’t really want to be bothered with getting up to fix a drink or get a remote, so this is perfect!

Mini Pool Table In A Tin

Mini Pool Table In A Tin

Source: Crafts Unleashed  }

Ok, to be honest I would actually like to have this one myself. It’s so cute!

DIY Bottle Opener

DIY Bottle Opener

Source: Shanty 2 Chic }

Best Dad Sign

The Best Dad I Ever Saw

Source: Etsy

This isn’t a DIY like the others, but I thought it was really cute and it’s only $8 on Etsy, so it’s cheap too.

 

Hope you enjoyed my list and I hope you and your dad have a great Father’s Day!

Question of the day: What’s your best memory of your father?

Blogging Resources: 30 Blogging Prompts

Blogging Resources: 30 Blogging Prompts

 

I’ve been blogging for a good while now and something that hits me every now and then, is blogger’s block aka, writer’s block. Sometimes things just get a little bit stale and I feel like I’ve covered every single topic I could ever think of. In this case, sometimes it’s necessary if not vital that I look elsewhere for inspiration.

Where ever I can find inspiration or from whom ever, is always a godsend and that source of inspiration can sometimes be really, really hard to find. That’s why I wanted to make this week’s Blogging Resources about things that you could possibly write about if inspiration isn’t striking you.

All of these are common posts that a lot of other bloggers write about and some are just topics that will pop into my head from time to time. You can take any one of these prompts and fit them to a certain type of topic that you want to blog about.

I’ve compiled a list of 30 prompts for when you ever need some help and here they are.

1. A recipe

2. 10 things you don’t know about me

3. A rant

4. Tutorial

5. DIY (also repurposing old things in your home)

6. Tag Post ( tag someone with questions that you have for them)

7. Informational (give information about something that other people might not know about)

8. Product Review

9. Recommendations

10. Your favorite shows on Netflix

11. Who inspires you?

12. Talk about your past

13. The Dear Me Post (what you would tell your younger self)

14. Your workout playlist

15. What you eat to stay fit, healthy, etc….

16. What are your favorite apps?

17. What kind of makeup do you use?

18. What’s the best advice someone’s ever given you?

19. Who are your favorite Bloggers?

20. Talk about the first time you fell in love

21. What makes you laugh?

22. Travel Bucket List

23. Interview another blogger

24. List your best tips and tricks for doing something

25. Do a post about a holiday

26. Bring awareness to a public issue

27. Write a letter to someone

28. What’s an obstacle in life that you’ve overcome?

29. What’s the first lesson you’ve ever learned in life?

30. Monthly Favorites

I think the best advice I was ever given in regards to blogging, was to always keep some type of notepad or journal around at all times that way when inspiration strikes (which a lot of times happens at the most inopportune times), you will have a new topic at the ready for your next post.

Well, that is it for this week’s Blogging Resources! Be sure to come back every Tuesday (or any day for something new) for a new edition of Blogging Resources and Happy Tuesday!

Question of the day:How do you come up with blog post topics?

10 Things I Tell Myself To Block Out Negativity

10 Things I Tell Myself To Block Out Negativity

 

Ok, so I love blogging just as much as the next person and I really enjoy doing it, but there have been a lot of negative nancies in the blogging world and in general online lately. Not sure what it is about the internet that makes people think that they can say whatever they want to other people without any consequences, but they do. It’s like as soon as they turn on that power button and open up safari or chrome, they just get diarrhea of the brain and just shoot out whatever comes to their minds’.

One thing I’ve kind of learned is that people are very, VERY opinionated…. almost to the point where they shout just to get their message across. Some voice their opinions through comment sections or a blog or other medium or through Facebook. Facebook……yep…..now that we’re on the subject of it, I just have to say out of all the social media platforms out there, the one I’ve had the most negative experiences with have been through Facebook. Why Facebook you ask? Good question and one that I wish I had the answer to. I’ve had certain individuals actually criticize me for things that I do in regards to blogging and let me tell you, I refuse to let it bother me.

Regardless of all the negativity out there, I choose to project positivity, 1. because it’s essential to my sanity and 2. because there’s so much negativity out there that I feel it’s my duty to cancel it out with my positive outlook. But I do feel it’s the only way to show these negative nellies that they can’t beat us down.

How do I keep my positive outlook? I like to make a list every week that I can look through that are things I should tell myself every day to inject more positivity into my life. I want to share them with you, so that’s why I’m doing this post. Please bare with me because I know these are going to seem very vain or self centered, but the whole point of this exercise is to get you in the right mindset to project positivity and that starts from within. Once you lay the foundation for your own positive self image, you are pretty much set to start off your day in a positive direction. Here they are:

1. You’re Awesome

Just in general you are and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

2. You Got This!

No matter what life throws you (including negativity), you can overcome it.

3. You’re One Smart Cookie & You Know It

Most of those negative people we were talking about before like to make others around them feel inferior by talking down to you or undermining your intelligence, but you know how smart you are and no one can take that from you.

4. You Have A Great Life

Whether or not you have the life you think you should have right now, know that it could always be worse and you’re lucky to have a roof over your head and food on the table.

5. Your Future Is So Bright

Like I said before, even though you might not be where you think you should be in your life, there’s always hope for the future and who knows, your future could be the best that you could ever imagine.

6. People Love You

No matter what your life situation is, you have someone out there who cares very much about you. Whether it be a relatives, friends or a significant other you are greatly loved.

7. You Have A Lot To Offer

We all have strengths and weaknesses, but there’s also at least one thing we are all really good at that we can contribute to the world.

8. You’ve Got Great Taste

Other people might not agree with your taste in food, decorating, music, movies, etc, but your taste is your own and no one can ever be wrong about what they like!

9. You’re Kind

You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important! Haha, I had to reference The Help. It’s true though, unless you’re a complete monster, I’m sure you’ve done something kind for somebody in your life.

10. You’re Beautiful

Looks aren’t everything, but it is important that you have a positive self image. No matter what anyone tells you, you are beautiful and made perfectly.

 

This is the list of things you can say to yourself any day that you’re feeling a negative vibe and want to project positivity. I find it to be really helpful along with exercise and surrounding myself with positive people. Just remember that while negativity may seem sometimes like it’s taking over the world, that doesn’t mean that it is and any positive vibes you send out into the world will come back to you. Have a great day and remember, YOU GOT THIS!

Question of the day: How do you block out negativity?

 

5 Reasons Why Page Views Shouldn't Matter To You

5 Reasons Why Page Views Shouldn't Matter To You

 

If your monetizing your blog, which most bloggers are, then you know that getting a large number of page views can make a huge impact on generating revenue from the ads you placed on your blog. As I’ve talked about before, there are other ways of making money from your blogs besides ads, but today we are just going to focus on ads and why you shouldn’t pay attention to your site stats.

If your lucky enough to have a large following or you’re really awesome at creating eye catching blog post topics along with great content then by all means don’t pay attention at all to what I’m going to say, because your in the ranks of the lucky few, but for the rest of this, you should definitely pay attention as I make the case for not paying attention to page views.

First of all, I have to admit to you that I’ve paid attention to page views in the past and that’s why I’ve come to the realization that they aren’t important, especially if your just starting out. As I stated in my post, Blogging Resources: Must Have WordPress Plugins, I use Jetpack which integrates Google Analytics into my site stats. I love Jetpack because of the many features it has, but now that I understand why page views shouldn’t matter to me or you, I don’t really pay attention to the statistics that much and I’ll go ahead and tell you why now.

1.They Fluctuate

When my main focus used to be the number of page views my site had each day, I picked up on something very important to why they aren’t the end all be all of your blog being a success. They fluctuated. For example, What Makes Me Happy was the highest ranking blog post I ever did according to my site stats. The next day, my new blog post had a fraction of the page views than the other one did. Each day the stats go up and down. This is a huge reason why I don’t pay attention to page views anymore.

2.Popular Posts Aren’t Always Your Best Work

As I stated above, according to my site stats, my post titled What Makes Me Happy was my highest rank post ever. Now, while I did enjoy writing this post, I don’t think it was my best work. Their have been posts in the past that I thought was the best piece of work that I’ve ever done, but it didn’t have near the same amount of page views as my most popular post. That was pretty eye opening for me.

3. It Affects The Quality Of Your Work

After I saw the stats for What Makes Me Happy, I got a little greedy and wanted those same numbers again so I studied that post right down to the keywords trying to figure out what made it so much more popular than the rest. I figured the reason had to be because of the title, image, or the way I marketed it that day. I started to focus a lot on those aspects, and now that I look back, the posts following that weren’t of great quality, which is something I never want to lose sight of. For me, making quality work is more important than anything, and if my work reflects that, then the viewers will come organically instead of some form of statistical manipulation.

4. It Will Drive You Crazy

Like I said, when I was focusing on what was making that particular post so popular, I lost sight of why I wanted to blog and what I was truly passionate about. Focusing on such things will literally drive you crazy because you get a sort of tunnel vision where your main focus is on driving traffic to your website instead of creating work that your proud of. Plus, we have enough stress to deal with everyday, lets not add any extra by trying to keep up with the blogging rat race.

5. You Can’t Control It

When I focused on figuring out what element of that blog post was making my highest ranking blog post so popular, I finally realized that there was no way that I could figure out the specific cause of it. The reason I say that is, I looked at how readers were being referred to my site and I found out that most of the page views for that post weren’t even being driven to my site because of the title of the post or the content. It was being driven to my site because of a giveaway I hosted and readers were being directed from that giveaway.  So the point is, there’s very little you can do to control that stats for your sites.

 

Obviously there are going to be some people who disagree with me and that’s fine. This is just from my experience and my personal opinion. This isn’t meant to be a post about telling you that your doing something wrong, it’s more about me making my case and you taking what you want from it. Ever since I quit paying attention to my page views, I’ve felt less stressed and more focused on creating quality content. I hope you were able to take something valuable away from this post and always thanks for reading!

Question of the day: Do you pay a lot of attention to your page views and how does it make you feel when you do that?